Monday, May 5, 2014

We are a Team - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.


It's been a great week. We decided to just do an English fast, so no English this week. We did speak some, but for the most part just Danish. Elder Brindley’s Danish got a ton better and he can understand it better as well. I’m glad that he was able to learn more from it. I have decided to just speak Danish all the time anyway. I know it's the best way to learn the language, and it shows. Just wait til you hear the accent of Hannah and Jake. They both won't sound normal, and they are both fluent, so that’s good. That’s just a goal of mine.

Good stuff this week. We met with a couple of less active members and had a great appointment with them. One of them shares our last name, but we are not related. The other one is one that has been out of the church for a while, but she wants to continue to visit. We are excited for that.

We were able to meet with Erik this week. He told us that he likes to travel, so he can’t commit to being baptized because he knows that he won’t be able to come to church. Then he said that maybe in the next five years that will change. So, that was a bummer....the most positive friend, and he just was not that positive.

But the Lord has blessed us this week with Jakob and John. Jakob was really busy so we could not meet with him last week, but we got a call from a member who lives in Esbjerg (very west side of Jylland). He gave us a referral to visit it grenå, which is an area about one hour east from where we live. We met with him, and he's probably the most prepared person that I have ever met. He is very nice and just wants to  learn more.

The story with him is that he was dating this lady who referred him when she was less active in the church, and they had a child together. Then she said that she wanted to go back to church, so he started to learn more. When it came down to it, she just called off the relationship and he moved across the land to where we met with him. The first thing he did when we got inside the apartment was hand us a paper that said, "Don’t talk about baptism. I have to stop smoking and drinking kaffe first."  He had written this down so we would not forget :)

As we started to talk to him about the simple truths of the first lesson, it just seemed like we had to talk about others things too. So, I asked him about his smoking. Usually the Word of Wisdom is frowned upon when teaching the first lesson især i danmark. Because everyone has some problem with smoking, drinking alcohol or kaffe, it's bad any way. He just opened up to us and told us that he really wanted to stop, that he had received a blessing for it, but it didn’t do anything. Then we talked about his relationship with God. He said, "I don't pray, and am not very good at reading." He is dyslexic. So we talked about prayer and how the Lord wants to hear from us, and the way we communicate with him is through prayer. So we committed him to kneel and really show his willingness to quit smoking. That was a great thing. We felt really good about the appointment afterward.

The problem with Randers is that there are a ton of people that want to meet, but they don’t want to meet weekly. It's very frustrating, but it’s all good. It's the Lord's work, not ours. So we are constantly trying to talk to people and trying to meet with people.

Yesterday I had a great experience in church, just thinking about the blessings I have received in my life and især på missionen (especially on my mission). It was very humbling and fun to think, især (especially ) about John. He was a referral from a member of the church in a different city in the region. I really got to thinking about how important member missionary work is, and what members have to offer. After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that everything turns out for the better with people we teach when a member is involved. Then I started to think about how I was as a member missionary back home....only to find myself very disappointed in my efforts. I know that member missionary work is the best and most effective tool in this gospel. Every member is a missionary.

There have been a couple of people ranting about how there are 48% more missionaries and only a 4% increase in baptisms. The first thing I say to them is, "Well yeah, there are more missionaries, and the numbers will be higher. But have you helped the missionaries?" I feel like a ton of people think, "There are 80,000 missionaries now. THEY can just take over the work." No, no, no! That just means that there needs to be more members helping with the work. We are a team. It's Zion!

Anyway, rant over. Sorry, I just get involved. Do your visiting teaching. Do your home teaching. Be a diciplæe of Christ and follow Him. I love you. Have a great week, and thank you. I will talk to you next week.

Thank you for everything, and don’t worry. I am healing up nicely ;)

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

ÆLdste Madsen

I Got Stuck.... (April 28, 2014)

Happy Mother's Day from Denmark (May 12, 2014)